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Thread: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

  1. #241
    Flashaholic
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    Crazy Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    What's really scary now, is after reading all these posts on CR123 battery failures, I'm afraid to put batteries in my Surefire Beast now. Surefire, AmondoTech Titanium, Battery Station were some of the failures and these I have some of.

    Considering there are 20 that go into a Beast, what a blast, (pun intended), if any of them fail. Of course if I fill it up with their batteries and there is a failure, at least that wonít be able to blame anybody elseís batteries.

    Iím not sure what is up with the mention of Surefire's batteries leaking. Old stock, current stuff, something to check for, not worth mentioning??

    I see AmondoTech is selling batteries in two and three's linked together. For those lights that take this quantity, is this a good way to go?? Thank you.

  2. #242

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    This thread has also confused me. Which cells are reccomended? Is it better to get Battery Station since they are match and will vent or get cells that never had issues in testing or what?

  3. #243
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Hello Proline,

    Before SureFire had their own brand of batteries, SureFire lights were issued with Duracell batteries.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  4. #244
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Apparantly, on the MN21 lamp assembly, Duracell primaries give greater light output. But I would recommend using SureFire cells, that way, if your SureFire light ever gets ruined, it will be taken care of.

  5. #245
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Just found this thread... Thanks for the education and dangers on Lithium-cells...

  6. #246
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    excellent info

  7. #247
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Silverfox wrote earlier:

    "The ZTS tester seems to have a problem with unused cells that have something strange going on with the chemistry. It does seem to be able to match cells on starting voltage. I have found that the 10% and 20% cells seem to have almost the same capacity as the 100% cells. It's the 40%, and 60% cells that seem to be strange."

    Can anyone comment further on this, or compare what a voltmeter says to what the ZTS says?

    I have one of the ZTS testers, bought it to thin the battery herd just recently.

    I've noticed I need to test any battery that is in the middle range at least three times, with a few seconds in between --- sometimes more. I retest til I get the same LED light level shown a couple of times.

    --------- Jan.8 2009-------EDIT--------
    -- so I asked ZTS directly. They said wait a few minutes at least in between testing a battery, because it takes some batteries a while to come back after their tester imposes a load on them. That makes sense
    ---------





    Often I'll get a nice high reading --- 80% --- the first time. The second time I'll get 60%, and that may be consistent the third and later times.

    Sometimes on the third time I'll get 40%, and it'll stay there on further testing.


    I haven't had time to sit with a voltmeter and try to figure out what's going on --- been doing botany fieldwork, offline a lot during these summer months.

    I'm safe enough, I think, I'm not using any 2x123 lights (the Streamlight Scorpion, old incandescent model, was the only one I ever had).

    But I'm really puzzled what's going on. A summary, if someone can sum this up, or pointer if someone has, would be much appreciated when it's sorted out.
    Last edited by hank; 01-08-2009 at 07:11 PM. Reason: new info

  8. #248

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    has Surefire or any other manufacturer been sued over these Kabooms? It seems like they'd be getting hit with suits over this.

    I'd sure hate to get injured from one and would likely immediately jump to the conclusion that the manufacturer was liable.

  9. #249
    Flashaholic* RobertM's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links


    Holy crap! I've heard a lot of people on the forum talk about lithium battery safety before, but somehow missed this thread. Thanks for posting all the info! Now I'm continually looking over at the drawer with all my CR123's in it .

    Robert

  10. #250

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    So what brand is the fastest and the most recommend?

  11. #251
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    what, you didn't read 9 pages????

  12. #252

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Dang, that was a long first post! Anyone have a summary?

  13. #253
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by LightObsession View Post
    Dang, that was a long first post! Anyone have a summary?
    I've spent the last couple of hours pouring through threads here of kabooms and battery tests and must give a huge, heartfelt thanks to those here who have worked so hard to test and contribute. THANK YOU!

    AND... can someone here who is knowledgeable enough about the current state of flashlight types/brands and battery types/brands write a summary of findings? That would be so helpful to all of us.

  14. #254
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    I haven't read through all the pages. I was wondering if Duracell has ever had an incident like some of the others? Has any CPF member reported a Duracell failure?

    I have never had a problem with Duracells. I have had Surefire 123's die suddenly, in series with good 123s. Not good. I bring this up because now I have Panasonic CR123s and just had one in a series set of 3 drastically drop voltage, so much that the internal resistance was killing the other two cells. Luckily I caught this quickly because the light dimmed noticeably. It's worthy to note that if I remove the bad cell and replace it with a dummy, the remaining two cells power the LED light at full brightness. If I put the "bad cell" back in, the light output is drastically reduced but it does still work. Now what would have happened if I would have thought I was in "moon mode" and kept the light on??

    If I can't find a single incident of Duracells having problems, I may have to go back to using them, even though they cost more.
    Last edited by Sean; 04-20-2009 at 04:14 PM.

  15. #255
    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    This thread, especially page one is unparalleled. Would be great to have it in list as a sticky.

  16. #256
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Great thread! Very interesting.

  17. #257
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    CPFers: a tremendous amount of work has been done here, mostly by volunteers. Unfortunately, it may need to be done again. Things change in the battery business, mostly for the good.
    1. The BatteryStation cells referenced in the testing have been replaced by U.S. made cells (the previous cells, with the yellow band, were Chinese).
    2. The testing references 15,000+ CPF users - we now have over 155,000 users and I don't think we have ten times as many 'explosions' as back then (2005-6) so, I think things are better.
    3. Energizer does not make SureFire 123 cells.
    4. Energizer does not make Energizer 123 cells.
    5. According to multiple sources, there is only one (1) factory in the U.S. that makes all cells labeled 'Made in U.S.A.'. Accordingly, all U.S. brands should have the same rate of cells leaking, low capacity, etc.
    6. Foreign cells vary widely as to quality and capacity, IMHO, not worth the risk to save a few bucks. I got stung myself three years ago buying Panasonic cells of Japanese origin (normally a fine battery if the price is right). Turns out they were Chinese counterfeits and only have 40% the capacity of a U.S. cell according to my ZTS tester. Also, I just heard of someone counterfeiting SureFire batteries in China. Supposedly, they do not have an expiration date printed on them like genuine SureFires. Caveat Emptor!
    7. After individually handling over 20,00 SureFire batteries through the years, I have only seen one that had leaked and one that was completely dead. I wasn't checking for diminished capacity. Perhaps the reports of leaking include episodes of partial venting rather than leaking prior to use. I'd rather have an occasional leaky cell rather than a cell with no venting capability.
    8. Perhaps some of the manufacturers can let us know if their flashlights are designed to handle the batteries venting or, if they are totally sealed and will 'grenade' if the batteries vent rapidly. In most high-power rifles, the bolt and receiver are made such that, if the cartridge fails, the high-pressure gases are diverted away from the shooter's face. Maybe this has been done already for flashlights, maybe not. Might be a competitive advantage for someone.

    Anyhow, I think that the battery situation is better than it was but, we still need to follow the rules about not combining multiple brands, new and old batteries, primary and rechargables, etc. And, I only buy U.S. made CR123A cells. Some testing with currently available batteries might show some progress in cell safety.

  18. #258
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    This

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-at-Springboard View Post
    Anyhow, I think that the battery situation is better than it was but, we still need to follow the rules about not combining multiple brands, new and old batteries, primary and rechargables, etc. And, I only buy U.S. made CR123A cells. Some testing with currently available batteries might show some progress in cell safety.
    (Also: put the higher voltage cell at HEAD END of the light.)
    --Scott

  19. #259
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Steve-at-Springboard, thanks for that current summary and pointers. It was taking a while to read through.

    And milkyspit, thanks for that note also. I'll keep that in mind.


    Dean

  20. #260
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    an oldie but goodie of a thread... has anyone heard from Newbie lately? please PM

  21. #261
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    I just read this tome....huge amount of info.

    I did notice the math assumption was wrong at one point in particular:

    There was an assumption that (Back then at ~ 16 k members) as CPF had 10 battery failures for ~ 16k members, that that represented a ~ 1 in 1,600 failure rate. (For PRIMARY Lithium cells)

    That would only be true if each member had only one battery in their life time. I think its fair to say that most of the members here have had far more than one battery. The stories represented EVER having a problem with a battery in this context.

    It seems we have had fewer incidents since 2006, etc....and that either the lights and/or the batteries are built so as to minimize this occurrence, and/or the info on safe handling has reduced the number of incidences due to poor handling procedures, etc.

    In any event, it at least seems like Lithium Ion Batteries have become reasonably safe to use when handled properly. NON-Lithium Ion Batteries have had equivalent examples of failure it seems as well, and it seems that batteries in general need to be treated with the proper respect for the package of power they represent.
    Last edited by TEEJ; 02-11-2012 at 08:35 PM.

  22. #262
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Massive amount of info on this thread thanks.

    However now I don't want to order the 123 battery lights I was going to order. Will AA/AAA be the safer route? I am very safety cautious and don't like to take risks (I've lost all my possessions in a fire and nearly died)

  23. #263
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by jomox View Post
    Massive amount of info on this thread thanks.

    However now I don't want to order the 123 battery lights I was going to order. Will AA/AAA be the safer route? I am very safety cautious and don't like to take risks (I've lost all my possessions in a fire and nearly died)
    AA and AAA cells (assuming you mean alkaline) are very safe but also relatively weak, handle low temperature use poorly, and store for only a short time without risk of leakage.

    You could run single 123 cell lights... those ought to be quite safe, and you'll have access to more powerful lights with better low temp performance and vastly longer shelf life.

    Also, stick with 123 cells made in USA: my personal favorites are SureFire, Rayovac, and Battery Station (which last I heard, are made by Rayovac).
    --Scott

  24. #264
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Thanks for info. I just want to be safe, sounds like just running single 123 batteries would be okay then? I'll make sure to get them made from the US if I do go with 123 capable torches.

    With the AA/AAA would be Alkaline yes, but is there any advantage of going mAh / NiMH? (Which would be the safer route)

  25. #265
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by jomox View Post
    Thanks for info. I just want to be safe, sounds like just running single 123 batteries would be okay then? I'll make sure to get them made from the US if I do go with 123 capable torches.

    With the AA/AAA would be Alkaline yes, but is there any advantage of going mAh / NiMH? (Which would be the safer route)

    Nothing is 100% safe in the real world.

    That said, 1x123 primary is vastly safer than 2x123 (which in practice isn't necessarily a death trap, either). All the adverse events of which I'm familiar occurred in 2x123 cell configurations, usually when one cell essentially reverse-charged the other due to disparity in their states of discharge. That cannot happen in a 1x123 configuration.

    In the AA world, I like the Eneloop NiMH cells very much and they've become the NiMH standard here in the Milky Labs. Great cells. I doubt you'd experience any problems with them. If you go that route, treat yourself to a good charger to take as good care of the cells as possible... doing so will result in better cells, longer runtimes, and far more charge cycles before the cells give up the ghost, so to speak.

    Good luck with your choice! Between 1x123 and Eneloop NiMH, you can't go too far wrong either way.
    --Scott

  26. #266
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Thanks for the info again it helps a great deal, just have to decide to go 1x123 or Eneloop NiMH then consider my flashlight options again if going AA/AAA. May just take the risk with 1x123 and just be sensible with storage etc.

  27. #267

    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    I have two Nitecore TM11 'Tiny Monster' lights one is run off 4 Eagletac 18650 3100mAh batteries and the othe uses 8 Surefire 123 batteries.

    I have a volt meter, the ZTS MBT-1 meter and the knowledge of the risk factor.

    In truth I have more fear of being hit by a motor vehicle than having my lithium battery cells blowing up.

  28. #268
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Quote Originally Posted by sidecross View Post
    I have two Nitecore TM11 'Tiny Monster' lights one is run off 4 Eagletac 18650 3100mAh batteries and the othe uses 8 Surefire 123 batteries.

    I have a volt meter, the ZTS MBT-1 meter and the knowledge of the risk factor.

    In truth I have more fear of being hit by a motor vehicle than having my lithium battery cells blowing up.

    This is true, however after reading all the reports here it don't seem rare for things to go wrong with these batteries, but as milkyspit explained above it seems ok with 1 x 123 battery.

    On another note would storing them in a steal/aluminum ammo box be safe? They would be in their packaging(If not in a cardboard box thing) and then stored in the ammo box (In which case if one does explode there's no chance of a fire spreading)

    Maybe going over the top but for me personally it's the little things that count, as sometimes these little things can have bad consequences (As I've experienced with first hand experience) there's a risk with everything in life but I'm at that stage where I like to take more caution now.

  29. #269
    Flashaholic* sween1911's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    My favorite place down the road always has Surefire cells. I went there a few weeks ago for a fresh box, and they only had "Streamlight" branded cells. Are they just as good as the SF cells?
    Dean Venture: "I'll get the flashlights!"
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  30. #270
    Moderator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: 123 Primary Lithium cell info/testing/links

    Last I heard, the Panasonic facility in ?GA? makes all the SureFire & Streamlight cells (as well as other branded cells such as Energizer etc), so they should be 100% identical.
    In the past we have had a light which flickered, in the present we have a light which flames, and in the future there will be a light which shines over all the land and sea.
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